In a recent article (Lange & Wagenitz 2003) we analysed the variation and historical changes in the meaning of the old lichenological term ‘phycolichen’. We came to the conclusion that the word is not suited for use as a name for green algal lichens because of the considerable ambiguity generated by its previous usage. Instead we recommended the name ‘chlorolichen’, a term that appeared to have been used rarely in the lichenological literature; we found it only in publications by Sillett & Goslin (1999) and Ellyson & Sillett (2003). At the time we were not able to determine its origin but this puzzle has, in the meantime, been solved. It was Vernon Ahmadjian who introduced this word as a counterpart for cyanolichens (V. Ahmadjian in litt). He first used the term in 1989 when he wrote “… enough species of lichens with green photobionts (chlorolichens) have been synthesized …” (p. 29), and he also applied the term in his book ‘The Lichen Symbiosis’ (Ahmadjian 1993: 123). Thus, it is to the credit and innovation of Vernon Ahmadjian that we have available the short forms ‘chlorolichens’ and ‘cyanolichens’ for the two functional groups of lichens with either green algae or with cyanobacteria, respectively, as their main photobionts.
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